Reading Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ marked an important moment in my literary life. It cemented my interest in gender studies and inspired my first short story, ‘Ulterior Design’ which was published in Black Static # 21. The rest of Gilman’s oeuvre is often in the shadow of this one great work – though her novel Herland is enjoying a resurgence of interest perhaps as a counterbalance to recent political developments – and her short story, ‘Old Water’ is one such often-overlooked work. Arguably just as revolutionary as ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, ‘Old Water’, written nineteen years later, is more hopeful, celebrating the next generation of ‘new women’ firmly in control of their destinies.
To read my full article on ‘Old Water’, which was longlisted for the Thresholds 2017 International Feature Writing Competition click here. Thresholds is the international short story forum and this year’s entries celebrate a diverse array of short story masters such as Jorge Luis Borges, Katherine Mansfield, Yuri Buida, Cormac McCarthy and many more.